Archives for posts with tag: Nevada

I’m not sure if this blog is about the differences or the commonalities of Idaho and Nevada. Maybe it’s really both.

Southern Idaho is mostly agricultural, flat, lush green, has plenty of water, is easy on the eye with its rolling terrain, brilliant blue skies, lots of free range livestock ranging from cows, horses, sheep and goats. None of which northern Nevada can claim.

However, Southern Idaho interstates stretch for a hundred miles without even one pitstop, gas station or respite. Which, northern Nevada can be proud of out doing Idaho!

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Northern Nevada, on the other hand, is anything but agricultural and all the other things I’ve mentioned about southern Idaho above. It has amazing diversity in topographic anomalies; big skies (but not like Montana’s); interesting reflections of clouds on mountains (first photo…dark patches are shadows from the clouds on the sides of the mountain); isolated rain showers in the midst of bright, clear blue skies and happy puffy clouds; rapid, radical topographic changes; arid climate; outwardly rocky terrain;

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Rain on a sunny day! Check out the two photo sequence below in contrast with the photo above taken only a few miles and minutes before.

 

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Nevada’s rapid, radical topographic changes from above to the one below is downright psycho. It’s like the weather…wait five minutes and it’ll change!

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Tomorrow, I head across Nevada toward Reno and Auburn, California where Montana and I will take a much needed respite at a friend’s (sistah by another mother). I can only hope it’ll be a respite because she has a myriad of pets which all cause Montana hyperventilation! It’ll either help desensitize her to bunnies, birds, cats, horses, elephants, lions and tigers or not! I’ve got plenty of Xanax for her anxiety and Omeprazol for her stomach! Heck. Now that I think about it, I hope I have enough for me too! LOL

HAPPY TAILS!

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I have said it before and I’ll say it over and over because I’m a break the rules kinda’ girl when it comes to my retirement years…just in case there was some confusion ’bout that! I travel outside the box, write that way and, now, I’ve written a website to help Las Vegas performers and artists of all persuasions to find outlets and resources in a way that everyone says it shouldn’t be! Oh well. I was TOLD how the Home Page  was supposed to look in early April as I drove back to Las Vegas to handle Ava’s final affairs. And, as  I travelled with her small urn to the redwood forest where more was revealed and so forth as we drove through this great country into Montreal and back home again. I have followed very specific instructions. So if any of you web techies go nuts over the design, keep quiet! But if you have a valid point, I’m interested…always! And if you don’t believe in a greater power, you’re just making it harder on yourself than you need to!

So, here’s the latest. As of last weekend, we had no entertainers lined up and, as of today, we’ll be packed with a wide variety of grateful performers and artists all interested in helping to raise awareness of Vegas’s horrific suicide statistics because they have been personally touched by it in their families, friends or co-workers. All it takes is knowledge and perseverence and getting the right help in time.

This website has resources specific to bipolar, borderline personality disorder, the available facilities and other more alternative methods of healing like art, music and yoga therapy and to encourage friends and family not to be afraid of the bright light that MUST be aimed in the dark corners of brain malfunctions of this type because I think the statistics prove out more suicides result from these disorders.

My beautiful daughter wasn’t properly diagnosed as BPD until she met a psychologist, Andy, in late 2005, even though she had been seeing psychiatrist, therapists and psychologists since she was ten. However, the leading psychiatrist who handled Ava’s medications and therapy was treating her for Bipolar because that was easier. That’s my conclusion after interviewing people in the industry who automatically shove BPD’s under the rug as not being treatable. Her doctor was so highly revered in Georgia that we couldn’t get second opinions from anyone after they learned of his involvement. She had to be hospitalized to take her off the cocktail of six meds he had her taking in 2005. She continued to see him when in Atlanta and he continued to give her meds. It was the easy way out. I trusted this learned man. If you’re a parent of a bipolar or BPD child, arm yourself with knowledge. Our website provides that with links to reliable resources of information.

As this fledgling website grows, so will city speciic therapy alternatives but Ava’s Corner can be used now everywhere to work on that learning curve regardless of where you live. But for now, we want to help one family, one person, one life change for the better because of our one-stop-shopping approach to valuable information.

By the way, I’ve been “told” it will go global to buckle my seatbelt. So, watch along with me to see how it goes!

Ava’s Corner, inc. Mission Statement bears repeating:

“Ava’s Corner is a website constructed to encourage healing through creative energy shedding light into the dark corners of mental disorders. Artists of all genres can come to the Avascorner.org forum to voice their suffering through art, music, Videography, photography or poetry.

All friends or family of those suffering from brain disorders are welcome to utilize education, support tools and participate in Ava’s Corner forums.

These resources include broad scopes of therapy and self-expression to encourage loved ones to get the help they need.”

Here’s the press release that went out today.

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Donna Friend (404) 313-3707

avascornerorg@yahoo.com

NEW RESOURCE OFFERS HELP, SUPPORT TO CREATIVE PERFORMERS —Singer Elisa Furr, Comedian Penny Wiggins headline Dec. 2 AvasCorner.com Launch Party— Las Vegas, November 27, 2012—

On December 2, AvasCorner.com brings a much-needed suicide prevention resource to Las Vegas’s creative community, and in true Vegas style, the site launch party celebrates the performers it’s designed to support.

The site is the creative labor of Donna Friend, whose daughter Ava Kaufman committed suicide earlier this year in her Vegas home. Like so many performers, Ava—an opera singer, animal activist, and graduate of UNLV—struggled with depression and borderline personality disorder that she hid beneath a confident veneer.

“After Ava passed away, I learned that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 18 and 65,” says Friend. “I wanted Ava’s death to change that. And that’s why we’re launching Ava’s Corner.”

Members of the media are invited to attend the AvasCorner.com launch party on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at Olive Mediterranean Grill & Hookah Bar (3850 E. Sunset Rd.) from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. RSVP to Donna Friend with your name and the name of your media outlet at avascornerorg@yahoo.com by November 30.

The website reveal and walkthrough begins at 6 p.m.; come early for appetizers and a jazz ensemble. The entertainment starts at 7 p.m., and features Ava’s friends in the Las Vegas community, including local performers singer Elisa Furr, comedian Penny Wiggins, singer Kelly Vohnn, and musician Charly Urso.

The website will offer a safe place for Las Vegas’s creative community to share their struggles through conversation and creative works, creating a support network to remind depressed or suicidal performers that they are not alone. The site also provides resources, from suicide prevention hotlines for severely depressed visitors to local listings for music and art therapy. People who suspect their friends or family may be struggling with personality disorders or depression can find information to help them better understand and support their loved ones. Members who struggle with bullying or on-the-job harassment can find support tools and resources. The heart of the site, though, is the ability to share with other people who are struggling with the same issues.

“AvasCorner.com is a safe haven, reminding its members and visitors that you are never as alone as you think you are and as Ava felt she was in her last days. That awful night, Ava couldn’t remember that hundreds of loving friends would have done anything to help her. At AvasCorner.com, you don’t have to phone a friend if you don’t want to; you can reach out to any venue on this site to find hope and comfort,” explains Friend.

Friend started work on AvasCorner.com with a small group of committed volunteers, many of whom had known her daughter in Las Vegas and, like Friend, felt inspired to build a meaningful tribute to Ava’s memory. It felt only natural to launch AvasCorner.com in Las Vegas, the city where Ava, who had battled depression for much of her life, found her “tribe” for the first time. The fact that Las Vegas residents are fifty percent more likely to commit suicide than other U.S. residents and that so many of them pursue the same creative passions Ava embraced were also factors in the decision.

“Without performers, Vegas is just another desert,” Friend says.”

Ava’s Corner Logo – her own 1993 art of the lion and the wolf. Both significant to her.

Inside of Ava’s Memorial in Las Vegas in March of this year. There were hundreds of business people, professors, performers and artists in attendance and they were all friends. You just never know who is this depressed until you’re ready to assume all is not as it seems. Ava’s death sure screamed that to all who know and love her (present tense intentional).

 

THE PRESS RELEASE WENT OUT TODAY TO LAS VEGAS AND SURROUNDING AREAS. HERE IT IS:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Donna Friend (404) 313-3707 avascornerorg@yahoo.com avascorner.org

NEW RESOURCE OFFERS HELP, SUPPORT TO CREATIVE PERFORMERS

—AvasCorner.org launches December 2, 2012—Las Vegas, November 16, 2012—

When Ava Kaufman committed suicide in her Las Vegas home earlier this year, she added another name to Las Vegas’s disturbingly high suicide rate. The UNLV student and opera singer was a beloved friend and daughter, a tireless social and animal advocate, and a talented performer, but like so many of the creative people who find their way to Las Vegas, Ava was also struggling with borderline personality disorder and depression that she never shared with her friends.

“After Ava passed away, I learned that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 18 and 65,” said Donna Friend, Ava’s mother. “I wanted Ava’s death to change that. And that’s why we’re launching Ava’s Corner.”

The website, launching on December 2, offers a safe place for Las Vegas’s creative community to share their struggles through conversation and creative works, creating a support network to remind depressed or suicidal performers that they are not alone. The site also offers resources, from suicide prevention hotlines for severely depressed visitors to local listings for music and art therapy. People who suspect their friends or family may be struggling with personality disorders or depression can also find information to help them better understand and support their loved ones. Members who struggle with bullying or on-the-job harassment can find support tools and resources. The heart of the site, though, is the ability to share with other people who are struggling with the same issues.

“AvasCorner.org is a safe haven reminding its members and visitors that you are never as alone as you think you are and as Ava felt she was in her last days. That awful night, Ava couldn’t remember that hundreds of loving friends would have done anything to help her. At Avascorner.org, you don’t have to phone a friend if you don’t want to; you can reach out to any venue on this site to find hope and comfort,” explains Friend.

Friend started work on AvasCorner.org with a small group of committed workers, many of whom had known her daughter in Las Vegas and, like Friend, felt inspired to build a meaningful tribute to Ava’s memory. It felt only natural to launch AvasCorner.org in Las Vegas, the city where Ava, who had struggled with depression for much of her life, found her “tribe” for the first time. The fact that Las Vegas residents are fifty percent more likely to commit suicide than other U.S. resi- dents and that so many of them pursue the same creative passions Ava embraced were also factors in the decision.

“Without performers, Vegas is just another desert,” Friend says.

Members of the media are invited to attend the AvasCorner.org launch party on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at The Olive Mediterranean Restaurant (3850 E. Sunset Rd.) from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. RSVP to Donna Friend with your name and the name of your media outlet at avascornerorg@yahoo.com by November 30.

Ava’s Corner logo is taken from a cut out Ava did in 1993. It’s of a wolf (on left) and a lion. Ava always connected to the wolf and, in our family, we have lionesses. It was more than appropriate for this piece of her art work to be the website’s logo.

What a change! NW Nevada looks like the craters on the moon with some scrub growing. And, as soon as you get going east on I-80 it changes and changes and changes as does Utah. I ran out of juice on my camera battery by the time I hit Wyoming because I’d taken 150 pictures which all boil down to these.

In this never-seen-by-me stretch of Nevada, I’m trying to show perspective of the same view as I pass by it or to show the perspective of a panaramic view and how it changes all within the same line of vision from stark and craggy to lush and green.

Check out the scrub grass on each side of the road as I approach this mountain range.

And now this grassy area next to the ever-changing mountains and hills.

Then, suddenly, this craggy Monument Valley look.

Then snow-covered mountains, which, btw, I’m heading right toward!

LOVE this perspective! Looks like everyone is driving INTO the mountain!

Up close and personal snow-covered mountain!

Doesn’t it look like I’m flying? LOL

Fell in LOVE with the pinkish peak in the middle of this picture. Now, watch it change!

Pink marble look?

Going East on I-80 about 4’ish…watch what happens to the light next…

What my pink rock sits next to…then

cool shadows appear on the neighboring mountain…

making stripes across it enhancing the vegetation color changes

THEN, I cross the UTAH state line and the whole terrain CHANGES instantly like I’ve gone to another part of the world! It was crazy how it went from this last photo to huge SALT beds. These next pictures were taken in sequence from 3:59 PM Ava Specific Time (a/k/a Pacific Mountain Time) until my camera ran outta’ juice at 7:04PM…just TWO short hours!

Last vestiges of Nevada in the foreground and Utah state line behind it!

Amazing blue sky and HUGE, ENDLESS salt beds on both sides of the road!

Salt in the front and then God threw in some purple mountains for a back drop.

and more salt

on both sides of the road as far as you can see…left and right!

and then some more purple mountains miles, mind you, from the last ones!

Then let’s paint in some water on each side of the road in this massive salt invested area…some really pretty turquoise water!

Then let’s screw with everyone’s head and bring back the salt beds and throw in some really pretty green vegetation covered mountains!

And, 5 minutes later, we’ll remove the salt beds and add some ground vegetation and greener mountains..

And then let’s turn the corrner and find this HUGE lake…could it be Salt Lake?

Then a totally different lake in a totally different environment just minutes down the road from the last one!]

And yet another minute passes and look what I find now!

Then we’re back to the craggy rocky mountain look just when you thought you were in vegi heaven!

And the last shot de jour of Utah looks like the spine of a huge dinosaur!

So, that’s it for today’s adventure! No hiking…only driving…but I hope I’ve shown you a side to Nevada and Utah you’ve never seen before, or, if you have seen it, I’ve given you a whole new perspective of what you saw. After all, as an artist, the first thing they teach you about drawing is to forget everything you think you know about what you see making you focus on seeing in a fresh light.

Tomorrow is my favorite place. This will be the fourth time I’ve gone there. Flaming Gorge, Utah/Wyoming. But, this time I’m dropping back down into Utah to travel through the area south to north as it will totally give me a new experience. I find that traveling west through Zion is so much more interesting than traveling east through it. Just saying.

Happy Trails!

 

 

I left the redwood area, reluctantly, today only because I knew I had some wonderful adventures ahead of me taking roads through Oregon and Nevada I’d never before traversed. What a change of scenery in just seven hours! I have determined that Oregon is schizophrenic…it can’t decide if it’s a coastal state, rain forest or arid, bleak lands! Here, let me prove it!

Hwy 199 out of California into Oregon.

Then it starts to change to a more arid terrain.

Then fertile fields…

now with snow-capped mountains…

rolling hills meeting majestic mountains

Back to arid again

Oregon starts to look like northern Nevada as Highway 140 turns southward

Must be getting closer to Nevada but this place is so dessolate so I don’t really know!

Nevada is getting closer…

And…there it is! Nevada looking like a huge meteorite crashed into the middle of those mountains. Wish you could see it better in this photo.

Beautiful colors only Nevada has…

Mountain peaks which look like ocean waves crashing into each other.

I came around the corner from all that arid terrain to think I was seeing a mirage…which turned into a lake in the middle of it all!

Then more change in the mountains…beautiful change.

So, my friends, there you have my case on Oregon. I didn’t show you what I’d already witnessed yesterday on Hwy. 199 of the Smith River area that’s more rain forest than anything else but you’ve already seen that post, right? Sure you have!

Happy Trails!

Numa (Ava’s husband) and I decided to head for Tonopah, NV where my son, Carl, used to have a gold mine. My dad owned quite a chunk of land there and every year Mom and Dad would take Carl out west for him to work his mine. I’d tried to find my son’s old gold mine before but ran out of road and time. This time, Numa and I were going to find it and we almost did! All we needed was a 4-wheel drive to get to it!

We stayed in my pop-up camper over night. The last thing Numa said before he fell asleep was that he hoped the winds didn’t pick up. Well, talk about foreshadowing! I thought we were going to end up in Kansas in those early morning hours! We did a little more exploring to find a ghost town called Belmont. When I looked at the lady’s map, it sure looked simple enough to me. No need to write anything down or get more details, right? WRONG! We did have fun driving too fast over a crazy road to that DOESN’T go to the ghost town of Belmont giving me screams! He thought it was funny flying through the air leaving my heart in my throat and Montana throwing up in the back seat! The road really wasn’t that bad but I get butterflies going over little knolls too fast and he, a person who loves a good thrill, thought this was a cake walk! It was awesome!

I left Tuesday morning, taking the back roads, of course. What an amazing drive! It was just what my broken heart needed to see. Some of this country’s beauty to help me through today. It was two months ago today that my girl, Ava, took her life.

I got momentarily excited seeing how diverse our country’s landscape is and how quickly it changes from alien lands to canyon lands to river basins to lush, fertile farm lands. These next few pictures show you some of that diversity I saw in a few short hours yesterday.

Alien lands north of Tonopah, NV. Large fields of sand butting up to craggy mountains. Surreal.

As I got past this alien land, I got into a more remarkable area called Walker Lake. Talk about strange! A HUGE lake in the middle of no where with crumbling rocky mountains all around and no greenery!

Walker Lake just on the other side of Alien Lands!

Walker Lake with a touch of green!

Walker River Canyon just north of Walker Lake, NV

Walker River Canyon, NV

Walker River Canyon, NV

orange lichen growing on the side of this rock wall of Walker River Canyon made the whol rock look orange in the late afternoon hours. Pretty darn cool.

Mom kept telling me about raging fires in Arizona and I reminded her that I wasn’t going that way at all. Lo and behold as I come out of Walker River Canyon, I see fire in the distance and think, “Boy, am I glad I’m not headed for there!” Boy, was I ever wrong! My back road took me right past it! They closed the road and I begged the officer to let me go through so I could get to South Lake Tahoe for my prepaid Motel 6 room for the night! (Motel 6 rocks). Thank goodness they let me through but here’s a close-up of the fire with a touch of truck window thrown in for the heck of it!

What started out as a 1400 acre fire turned (at last I heard) into over 4000 acres maybe more. It was near Smith, NV

More fire near Smith, NV. I’d never seen anything like this before. It was a little frightening.

Cleared the fire and went through a little town called Wellington, NV. Cute!

Wellington School House 1898. Cool little town.

I made it from Tonopah, NV to South Lake Tahoe, CA in about four hours taking the road less travelled. Lots of little towns and beautiful countryside. Just what a soul needs.

Today, I’ll stay over to rest and catch my breath from the last two months before continuing on to the redwood forest where God lives. See, I’d been telling my daughter, Ava, about this place for fifteen years and this year she was going camping with me to finally see it. The local funeral director, Jeff who is now and forever my best friend, sent me a small urn with some of Ava’s ashes to me while I was tending to her final affairs in Las Vegas so she could come with me on this trip. Thank you Jeff. Your Mom-n-Pop operation sure has been there for me, first with Carl and now with Ava. You made a terrible and alien experience into a simple feat. You arranged everything from Atlanta so I wouldn’t have to worry about the arrangements after I told you how simple I wanted it all to be and my timeframe. Donahoo-Lewis Funeral Directors in East Point, GA were remarkable, loving and efficient.

I plan on writing more about my daughter as I move along this journey. She wrote of herself as being a “revolutionary woman” and that she was. More to come.

Happy trails!

As a person who likes to move… correction… must move… it’s been quite the test to be still for the last two weeks when I have so much I want to do and see while out west but you know why I’ve been docile… a recalcitrant docile, but docile nonetheless. So, it was a necessity for me to take the day off and break out of the house and the city.

As my only rule is to go to new places, I remembered that I hadn’t every gone to the old Vegas on Fremont Street, to Boulder City near Hoover Dam nor to the Gallery at the Bellagio. It was my intentions to go to all three but I had so much fun in Boulder City that number 3 will have to wait until tomorrow.

Montana and I weren’t too impressed with Fremont Street after we’d driven the length of it and figured we’d come back this way after Boulder City just to see if we just weren’t paying attention. We did notice some kind of pavilion area where some older places still remained but it looked under construction, it was hot and I couldn’t leave Montana in the truck. After all, I had to bring her ’cause she was getting a little stir crazy all the cats jumping around taunting her, poor baby… so many cats to keep up with for one little dog.

My daughter told me when she first moved to Las Vegas that she’d driven around that area and had fallen in love with the small, quaint town with its “dog friendly” residents. So, off to Boulder City near the Hoover Dam we went.

It seems that my body alerts me when nearing high voltage lines and it didn’t fail me today. I started getting that funky mini-panic feeling and pulled over on the side of the road to check my map. Yep. I was getting way too close to the Hoover Dam area instead of in the town of Boulder City. Right when I’d pulled over, I saw Lake Mead. It was absolutely beautiful with the mountain and sky backdrop but was also painful to also see how low the water levels still are. We need some of the water in Louisiana and Mississippi shipped to Lake Mead! Hey! Just build a cross-country pipe to send excess water in the south out west! Oops. I digress.

Lake Mead-white line on opposite bank shows old water line

Lake Mead - See the old water lines on spit of land to the right?

The first time I saw Lake Mead, I was told it was down SIXTY FEET! Now it’s “only” down about 27 feet from full pool. It’s only dropped this low three times since it was built 80-odd years ago. Like I said, pipe it in from the Mississippi River!

Feeling my way away from Hoover Dam so as to not get any closer than I must to take good pictures of the lake, I move in the opposite direction and stumble into this adorable 1950’s town, park Silver and get Montana out to stretch our legs. I don’t know who was happier to get outta’ the truck at this point!

First place we stopped on our walk was a rock shop, of course, called Nature’s Art & Gifts (www.NaturesArtAndGifts.com). It’s widely known that I’m a rock junky and have a wide assortment of rocks from all over the world that my dad collected and gave to me. I also have a rock garden where I “grow” them when the weeds don’t choke them out. Actually, they’re rocks my son and mother collected on their annual trip west when he was between the ages of  5 and 10. I can’t tell you how precious they are to me.

As Montana and I stood drooling over the outdoor display, Judy, who worked inside, came out and invited both of us in! You coulda’ knocked me over with a feather. Judy and I instantly became best friends. I told her that I write about my travels and, as I was talking, Judy recognized the parched voice of an easterner’s dry throat and promptly handed a cup of water to me and a bowl for Montana.

Then, I was telling my new best friend, Judy, about my daughter’s journey to Austria to study at an intensive opera workshop and Judy remembered my daughter coming to see her three years before! Sure enough, my girl went to the same store, made friends with Judy and told her she had just moved to Las Vegas to study at UNLV! I couldn’t believe it so I whipped out my handy dandy photo of Ava and sure ‘nuf, Judy said that was the same young lady. How ’bout that, folks. There was no way I wasn’t gonna’ buy something from Judy at this point!

Judy then tells me about this rock that’s good for the throat Chakra and I’m sold. I spend the loveliest time in that shop digging for treasures and Judy helped me find all the rocks Ava needs to take with her to Austria to help her with Chakra kinda’ thangs.

Boulder City central-Nature's Art & Gifts on left past Ace Hardware

Montana and I crossed the street aiming for more “shiny” objects to get distracted by when Montana saw a cow! She got so excited that I just had to stop and take her picture with it.

"Is that cow still looking at me?

Then we came across a gypsy who could tell our fortunes.

Local psychic

Then we came across a lovely little sidewalk cafe called Milo’s Cellar (www.MilosCellar.com) which also has an inn (www.MilosInn.com). I wasn’t sure Montana would be welcome but shoulda’ known I was in a good place. The waitress signaled to me to come on over to a table and promptly and without solicitation brought Montana a cool bowl of water.

Milo's Cellar Sidewalk Cafe

I recommend the fresh brewed tea, “Tuscany” sandwich with potato salad. It was all very fresh and the view wasn’t too bad either. The guy sitting across the sidewalk from me looked like Paul Newman AND his cowboy boots were dirty (yeah baby) AND he was drinking wine with his lunch! Too cool.

can you see Paul Newman?

Montana had complained about having to be good while I ate so we had to get movin’ on down the road. We talked it over and we decided to give Freemont Street another chance and I’m glad we did. It’s funny how you see things differently… going vs. coming.

Vegas-Baby circa 1950's

Yippee! Looks like Roy Rogers and Trigger!

Talk about a big stiletto!

Talk about a B-I-G Stiletto!

What strange looking show girl

As I approached Las Vegas Boulevard, I’d realized that I’d never driven the length of it so that was our next and last phase of our day adventure… driving in traffic for miles through areas I wasn’t sure I should be in with the windows down to the magnificence of the current “strip”. It was still early enough in the day to not be in the bumper car fiasco that often happens at night in this area and also to be able to clearly see the buildings around me and not have them get lost in all the bright lights.

One set of buildings stood out… Encore:

Encore!

So, I leave it all with you tonight… my whole day adventure. Tomorrow I’m going to the Bellagio to see the Gallery. That’s another thing I never quite make happen when I’m here and it’s happening tomorrow!

Happy Trails!

My body doesn’t take well to chemicals. If you take 1 pill, I take 1/4th. If you drink “leaded” coffee, I drink un-leaded and get cracked out for the whole day. A motion  sickness pill that won’t have any drowsy effect on my 40 pound dog puts my fanny  in the bed for 4 days! No kidding! I think it’s from being raised on a farm with well  water and  natural foods.

So, I’m not kidding when I say I had to get cracked out on caffeine (TWO 15 oz.  cups of Diet Coke) to counter the drugged  feeling I had this morning from the  “less drowsy”  version of motion sickness meds for vertigo before I even  felt like  venturing out of the house. I haven’t felt safe to drive knowing how dizzy I get  just turning my head to look over  my  shoulder. It was a desperate need to see  people, maybe  even converse with  people, that  pushed me to take such drastic  measures.

I’d recently heard of a local outdoor flea market called Broadacres, in North Las  Vegas. It’s one of my favorite  things to do on Saturdays.  While my daughter  slept, I planned my mini-adventure. I successfully found it on the internet and  took off. It was easy to find. I found it without using my crutch (TomTom), got a  parking spot in the shade (something a southerner learns early) and only had  to pay $1.00 to enter.  Great start, wouldn’t you say? And, to top it all off, the  place was appropriately  named… broad acres.  This was going to  be yummy  except for the fact that it took me two hours to wake up enough to  even drive  which meant the heat was  going to beat me down  if I didn’t  drink  lots of  water and walk in the shade.

As I arrived, I thought of my theory about east coast flea markets: the really  good,  inexpensive treasures are on the periphery. So, it was with great  enthusiasm  to prove it a national theory as well that I proceeded. And, I kinda’  did and kinda’ didn’t. This was an adventure all of its  own.

First impression was that I’d been transported to a 21st century Mexican  marketplace.  There was a lot of Spanish foods, music, customers,  products and  atmosphere.  I was sure I’d find some kind of cool Frida Kahlo treasure to buy;  even a book of  photos or earrings. By the way, Frida Kahlo was an amazing  Mexican artist in the early 1900’s who was wonderfully portrayed by Selma  Hyak in the movie, “Frida”. It’s a must see.

I briskly walked toward the back portion of this huge asphalt paved, fenced  arena of tent canopies abutting each other as far as you could see. There were  the occasional permanent buildings remnant of a past life but not many.

The place was packed but not as bad as an amusement park on a hot day, thank  goodness. You could still walk around without getting run over by strollers or  people. But, after the first hour, it was lookin’ pretty bleak. I’d only purchased  some Lucky Bamboo and a bottle of water and the heat was starting to get to  me. My next purchase had to be some kind of hat.

I kept my eye out for something with holes in the top with a wide brim. I had  several of these at home I’d failed to pack so I didn’t want to spend much and  there were plenty to choose from of all varieties. I needed an extra small one  and I knew that would be a trick. Got it and for $5.00. Now I had to secure it to  my head because the wind gusts were in the 40-50 MPH range (no kidding)  and get back to my Frida quest.

The second hour only served up large portions of penny arcade-type purchases,  brightly colored stilettos and stuff I wasn’t even slightly interested in  purchasing. There were jeans to be purchased for $5.00 and other items I’m  sure worthy of their price tag as well, just not what I wanted. I wanted a  treasure… a Frida treasure.

By the end of that second hour, I was burned up and out. I headed straight for  Silver and we drove back home with an adventure and a deeper tan.

Check it out the next time you’re out this way. Who knows. You might just find your own Frida treasure there.

http://www.broadacresmec.com

Yesterday, I joined Maya (dear friend and confidant) to have lunch at “our”  Mexican restaurant, Agave, in Summerlin, NV north of Vegas-Baby. It’s what  we  do first when I’m in town. Their ambiance is a superb example of up-scale  interior design complete with colored glass mosaics at the open kitchen counter-front, beautiful tile work throughout and topped off with authentic old world Mexican doors and hardware even in  the bathrooms. The sink in the bathroom is the coolest. It’s a long, flat, slightly slanted surface adorned with brightly colored green and deep blue tiles with hidden drain  system. Worth taking a trip just to look at the place. But, to top it all off, the food  is the BOMB! It’s all fresh and delicious. Prices are appropriate for a nice  restaurant but not outrageous (http://agaverestaurant.com). It’s a big thumbs up if you’re out this way and  won’t mind an amazing view of Red Rock, but  that’s another story.

Second, we go to Costco. We had to buy the caffeine free coffee drink my mom loves not  sold in any of their Atlanta stores called Caffe D’Vita. Yep, I drive 3000 miles to  buy this for my mom. Wouldn’t you? Last October, I bought her 12 cans and this  year I got 24. We don’t want Mama running out!

Next, we were off to the stables to play with Moose and Jessie. Well, at least for me it was play. For Maya, she worked her tail off shoveling the horses’ by-products! I brushed Moose and did whatever Maya directed me to do, within reason, took pictures and stood in awe of her energy and enthusiasm doing hard labor even of love.

Maya and Jessie

Moose is loose!

Tac attack.

When I was a kid, we had horses. We never worked hard with our horses,  but,  then again, I wasn’t the parent and we had pastures for them to run in. We  didn’t have dried poop-filled arenas that needed daily cleaning-up to ward off  hoof problems. Because grass is expensive and downright impossible  here in  Vegas-Baby, the locals who want horses take the horse by-product, dry  it and  re-surface the arenas and open stalls with it. The wind stirs it around  constantly making the air not only full of dust but horse poop. Makes having  horses in the desert less attractive to me but I’ve known differently and wouldn’t  do it this way. Nope. When I live out west, I won’t have horses. I’ll rent one if I  get a hankerin’ to ride.

As with people, there are so many more health issues with our animals, big and  small alike. For example, just last week, I heard of a herpes outbreak with some  horses in Utah at a rodeo type event. As there’s no cure and, because it  attacks their neurological system, they all had to be destroyed and the state is in  quarantine.

We  rarely called a vet or blacksmith. We just “had horses”. We didn’t have to  labor  over any of it. I fed the horses and jumped on their backs when I wanted a  ride around the pasture. And, after being reminded yesterday of Maya’s hot, backbreaking daily tasks with  even these extraordinary animals, I wouldn’t do it. Nope. Even loving  horses as  much as I do, it ain’t happening. Plus, I woke up this morning with a  horrible  spinning in my head from an allergic reaction to all the poop in the  wind. I’m  basically incapacitated even with two daily anti-histamines. Any  fast  movement of my head sends the room spinning until I sit still again. Now,   those of you who know me well, know I don’t do well sitting still.

The funny part? Jessie. When Maya scratches just in the right place, Jessie  extends his upper lip like something I’ve never seen. He moves it like an  Aardvark snout in hunt for tasty ants! Maya administered just the right  scratching needed for Jessie to show his “Dopies” while I clicked away. Look at  this crazy horse.

Jessie “Dopies”. Can you see how far out he extended his upper lip from his lower one?

I’ll keep trying to download the video. It’s absolutely hilarious!